The Water Bottle Dilemma

March 23, 2017

in Ask Dr Lisa, Family Health


The Water Bottle Dilemma


Dr. Lisa, I am unclear on the facts regarding drinking water from plastic bottles. I understand that this water is suppose to be healthier, but have recently read that the plastic bottles are linked to health problems such as cancer. Is this true? If so, do you have any suggestions for my family?“~ Pat, MD

The benefits of water outweigh all other drinks. Filtered water hydrates and flushes out toxins ingested from poor food choices. Water is crucial in creating health from within. It is also calorie free. If you prefer a little sweetness, the best choice is to squeeze a bit of fresh organic lemon or orange into it. Lemon is a natural detoxifier, creating a healthy liver, digestive tract and skin. This is my natural go-to detox drink (not some man-made detox drink, cleanse or tea).

Here are the lip smacking benefits of a good old glass of water:

  1. Water hydrates and oxygenates the cells and tissues of the body.
  2. Water flushes out toxins and the garbage of the body.
  3. It is calorie and guilt free so you are worry free.
  4. You can spritz it with a lemon which detoxifies liver, boosts immune system, helps with digestion, keeps body alkaline and clears skin of impurities.
  5. Water aids in repairing a leaky gut and balancing digestive issues.
  6. Your body is made of 60% water which is a critical number you body requires to be at for healthy cellular functions.

The Cup Matters

Your drink should always be filtered watered in a glass, not a plastic bottle. Plastic bottles or cups are made from toxic chemicals (petroleum based usually) that can leach into the water and body, creating havoc. Some chemicals have been linked to cancer, and all of them make the liver work extra hard to detoxify your blood. This slows down weight loss because as the liver works to detoxify your body, it fails to focus on burning fat properly. Toxins hold onto water also, so the more toxic foods you eat, the more water weight you gain and the more sluggish your liver is in helping you lose weight and cleanse too.

Here are the top light bulb thinking reasons why to avoid plastic water bottles:

  • Water bottles are laden toxic chemicals that are harmful to the body.These chemical have been linked to serious health problems such as cancer and hormonal estrogen displacement.
  • Toxic chemicals are harmful, but also make the liver work hard to detoxify the body, thus not burning fat well.
  • Taking in toxins keeps the liver in a detoxifying state of breaking down metabolites. The liver becomes distracted from many other important functions.
  • Toxins also hold onto water which increases body weight.

Plastic water bottles. These easy water-on-the-go  buddies sure make drinking easy, but not necessarily healthy. You have good reasons to pause here and dig deeper into the topic. When discussing plastic water bottles, here is what I ask all my patients:

Are you aware how dangerous plastic water bottles are for your kids and family, this includes water coolers in homes and offices?

If you are not aware, read on (click on the links to learn more about each chemical).

The Plastic

We must look further at the plastic used in the on- the -go water bottles and water coolers.  Most of the on- the- go water bottles are #1 and are reported to leach harmful chemicals into the water. These are considered to be PET plastics which leach things like petroleum and hormone disrupting chemicals. BPA is another chemical that has been linked to cancers such as breast and uterine cancer, a decrease in testosterone in men, and Type II Diabetes. BPA is high in the #7 type plastic bottles.

The numbers claimed to be safe are #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) or #5 PP (polypropylene), but most water bottles are usually a #1. Water coolers are usually a #7 which are found to also leach harmful chemicals.

I personally don’t drink from any water bottles unless there isn’t a choice. Even if you are thinking you are safe with #2, #4 or #5 the facts are that the water within the bottles have been reported to be nothing more than TAP WATER, not water from far away springs and filtered kindly of harmful ingredients. In fact, most waters on the market today are full of chemicals both in the tap water and leaching from the plastic that holds it.

Buying water bottles also creates a demand on gas and oil both in the production of the plastics and the delivery of the bottles to stores. Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year. According to Food and Water Watch, that plastic requires up to 47 million gallons of oil per year to produce. And while the plastic used to bottle beverages is of high quality and in demand by recyclers, over 80 percent of plastic bottles are simply thrown away.

How to Drink Healthy Water On-the-Go

It’s a great question and takes only a few little changes in our daily habits, but will make all the difference to the health of your family and beloved Earth.

 Simply use a reusable water bottle that is made out of the safer plastics #2, #4, or #5 and fill with filtered water from your home. The best solution however, is to use a water bottle made of glass or stainless steel to avoid any debate about the plastics above. In our home,  I love my glass water bottle by Lifefactory which you can find here. It has a silicone sleeve to protect it and comes in many cool colors. My kids  like stainless steel water bottles like this one  or this one here. We send the kids to school with them and take about town.  If you need a safe plastic water bottle such as use with sports or at the beach, my kids love this one and I love this one by Camelbak. They don’t like the straw that comes out on mine- says it looks like a sippy cup.

Seriously, kids?

Remember, the crazy harmful chemicals in the plastics leach into the water and thus, into your body. Yes, this happens even without water bottles sitting in the heat. Once in the body, theses ingredients create hormonal disruption thus, creating cancer (such as breast and uterine) and other harmful diseases such as Type II Diabetes.

Simpy stop buying them.

Avoid These Drinks Too

Many drinks for sale today (this includes some waters) contain toxic ingredients such as artificial flavoring, coloring and sweeteners. These toxins have be linked to health issues such as cancer and neurological disorders. Many of these drinks are quite often loaded with sugar, dyes and harmful chemicals, especially the diet drinks (this includes low calorie, no calorie and sugar free drinks). It really does not matter what type of drink it is, if it has color or some kind of flavoring in it that is not from a fresh fruit or veggie (that you juiced or is certified organic), it is not a good choice. You can learn more about harmful ingredients in drinks here

If you are very concerned about your health and weight, do not consume alcoholic drinks either. These are loaded with calories that have no nutritional value and also some harmful ingredients. Alcohol also makes the liver work hard. Think about it. If an alcoholic drink has artificial coloring, flavoring ingredients (this includes diet and sugar free ingredients), the liver works that much harder to remove those toxins AND the alcohol. It is a no win situation for healing and weight loss. You will gain weight by drinking empty, useless calories which will result in a toxic environment that will not allow the liver to burn fat or function properly.

Stick with filtered water. The recommended daily amount is 64 ounces a day (that would be eight 8 oz glasses of water). I know this may sound like a lot, but try to set  a goal that is more water than you drink now. Begin by replacing your bad drinks with filtered water too. The best type of water to drink is alkaline ph water as opposed to acidic ph water. You can find out what ph your kitchen drinking water is by having a free water test done right in your kitchen. My husband and I were shocked to learn our kitchen water was acidic with 6 ph and contained harmful particles such as chlorine, calcium, petroleum and iron. You can get your water tested in your home like we did, just send me an email if you are interested and I will hook you up with our representative.

Cancer and sickness thrives in a deoxygenated, acidic environment, so we were not pleased to learn our house water was potentially harmful, especially containing petroleum which again is an estrogen disrupter. Imagine my frustration making sure all our water and food are in safe glass containers and cookware to keep harmful chemicals out of our bodies when all along our water was just as dangerous? We did decide to purchase a home filtration system which provides our kitchen water with alkaline 10 ph drinking water as well as harmful chemical free soft house water for washing and bathing. We love our new system and can’t believe we waited so long to do this. Water really is a source to look at when you are suffering from chronic health issues, especially cancer, autoimmune, thyroid, neurological and digestive.

The power of water with lemon outweighs any drink out there. And as for sports drinks, I got you covered. Simply check out my blog article Are Your Sports Drinks Healthy to learn how to swap your Gatorade for a healthier and safer sports drink!


Yours in Health and Happiness,





Resources:  *Always read my disclaimer and photo is by Iakov Filimonov @ This page contains affiliate links meaning we earn a commission if you use those links. We only recommend brands we use and trust. 

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelli | Sweetness of Life & Motherhood June 2, 2014

Loving this series. Good info in this post. Thanks for doing the research on behalf of us all.

Dr. Lisa June 3, 2014

Thanks Kelli! I enjoy doing it!

kristine kennedy June 29, 2014

Hey Lisa- I am in the procees of ditching the plastic water bottles. Can I ask what kind of water filter you use? I have my eye on the New Wave Enviro but I am looking around first. Right now I am double filtering from my fridge door filter then through the BRITA but we go through a lot of water and BRITA is a bit slow. Thanks!

Dr. Lisa July 9, 2014

Hi Kristine! Water is viewed differently also, but you can choose what best suits your needs. Water from the water bottles are not an otpion because of what is in the plastic seeping into the water (and what the bottles do to the environment). Water from your tap has some harsh chemicals as well, so a filter such as Britta has been reported to be good. They also sell Britta filters for on the go, you just have to watch the plastic being used in any pitcher. And, if you put filtered water in the fridge, bewared of the plastic too. I have a filter in the water system in the fridge and then I put that water with lemon or such in a glass pitcher with a hermetic top Check some items out here. You may want to check out this article on Soma water filters too. Also, some waters have electrolytes in them, but again are in plastic bottles, so all I do if I need electrolytes is to add a pinch of Pink Hymalayan Sea Salt which is loaded with minerals. See my How To article here The other kind of water people love is a Ph balanced water which is so you are drinking an Alkaline water and not acidic. The best here is to get a Alkaline Ph water system, yet there are a few brands like Essentia that come in plastic water bottles claimed to be PET free, but again I do not advise consuming water bottles. Remember also, that our money in supporting water bottle companies is our vote. Thus, if we all stop buying so much bottled water, these companies may stop making such harmful products. So, the type of water you choose depends on your needs and lifestyle. Hope this helps! 🙂

Jami Bauer-Locricchio September 5, 2014

Great info. I have switched many things we use in our home from plastic to glass, stainless steel. Our dinner plates are stone or ceramic. Even there you have to be careful of finishes. So many things to keep in mind to keep your family healthy.

Dr. Lisa September 5, 2014

Jami, There are so many things to switch. I am glad to hear about your dinner plates. That is one area I try also to keep plastic free. Great point. You are right on-there are so many things to keep in mind! ~Dr. Lisa

Dr. Lisa November 23, 2014

I never worried about water coolers until I researched it and found that those water cooler bottles are not a healthy plastic. It really was eye opening. I love my Lifefactory bottle too! Glad you are using one and sorry to burst the water cooler bubble. 🙂 ~ Dr. Lisa

Kim Sjoblad February 5, 2015

Great post Dr. Lisa. Our family never leave home without our Lifefactory bottles.

Jennifer McLucas April 16, 2017

This info is great and timely as we start moving into the warmer months of summer. I have been wondering, how do I keep my stainless water bottle clean?

Dr. Lisa April 18, 2017

Jennifer, Great question! For daily easy cleaning, just rinse with warm soapy water, rinse and put on drying rack to dry out. For deep cleaning this link here by Klean Kanteen goes over it, but basically you can use apple cider vinegar and/or baking soda to get rid of any smells or residues. Same for the glass bottles too. Let me know what you pick as your summer water bottles! So many fun ones out there now for kids too! Take care. ~ Dr. Lisa

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